Chalktalk to China

Here in New York City, I gave a talk this evening to a very large audience at NYU Shanghai. To them it was morning, since there is a 12 hour time difference between our respective cities.

The talk went very well, and I used my interactive Chalktalk program throughout. The audience could see my face and hands, and they could also see pictures I was drawing, and watch those pictures come to life as I described various ideas about the future.

What was cool to me about the process was that I was able to use an interactive style of presentation, from halfway around the world, that mimics what ordinary conversation might be like in the future. One day we will simply draw in the air as we converse, and those drawings will spring to animated life, in ways that today would seem completely magical.

I believe that this future way of communicating will help us to bridge the gap between talking in person and talking with people who are far away. As advanced technology enables even casual language is able to become more visual, we will experience some of the rich and expressive interactions over great distances that today we share with people who are in the same room.

After all, this planet of ours is really very small and fragile. Hopefully these future ways of communicating will help to remind us just how close to each other we really are, and maybe that will help us to view people in other parts of the world with greater kindness and empathy.

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